There was an outside chance that the 24-year-old centre-back was going to be involved at Carrow Road this afternoon as football.london’s Alasdair Gold revealed earlier in the week.
“In terms of team news for Norwich, we’re probably expecting roughly the same team [as the Burnley match],” he said.
“Interestingly, there were [Antonio] Conte quotes that I stuck out there a few days back, where he did admit that Romero – in his mind – was trying to get fit for this Norwich match, trying to put himself into a position to be fit for it. Whether that is wishful thinking, we’ll find out in the days ahead.”
Wishful thinking indeed as the Italian head coach ruled out the Argentina international in his pre-game press conference.
“Romero had a traumatic injury. He is not available. We have the same players as the last game against Burnley. Not less, not more. We have to be ready to try and fight and get the result,” he told reporters (via football.london).
Whilst an already relegated Canaries side shouldn’t be much of a threat to Spurs’ top-four chances, it is still a gutting blow to Conte and the squad.
Romero has emerged as one of the Premier League’s best defenders this campaign and he has certainly improved the Lilywhites’ previously leaky backline.
“This guy is an animal, I swear. He’s perfect for the Premier League,” teammate at Atalanta and in north London Pierluigi Gollini claimed to the Evening Standard. “He’s played for many years with three at the back and especially when you play with a very aggressive style and play man for man.”
Indeed, the Argentine leads the squad for tackles (2.8) and interceptions (1.5) per game, proving to be an absolute rock at the back. Not only is he reading the opposition and acting upon it but also doing so in an aggressive style.
Not to mention his equally adept skills as a ball-playing option, having also averaged an accuracy rate of 86.7% from nearly 60 passes per outing, via WhoScored.
With Spurs already short on solid central defensive options, his absence will still come as disappointing news to the 52-year-old boss, and perhaps the Lilywhites faithful too.